Honiton group raises awareness of how litter endangers wildlife

  Posted: 27.04.21 at 14:37 by Philippa Davies

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A group set up two months ago to tidy up the ‘shocking’ amount of litter in and around Honiton has grown to 200 members – and is stepping up its fight to clean up public spaces.

Individual members are looking after the streets near their homes, along with nearby children’s play areas, and the group has carried out larger-scale clear-ups in places where the problem is particularly bad.

They are now putting posters around Honiton highlighting the danger posed to wildlife by carelessly discarded food and drink packaging and other waste.

Rob Waldron from the group said they have been tackling the Honiton Industrial Estate during weekends, following the easing of Covid restrictions on outdoor gatherings.

He said: “Sadly, we found it a total mess, an incredible amount of litter. Really sad how so much litter obviously just discarded, so many cans, bottles and plastic food containers and crisp packets. We to date have removed over 20 large bags. Unfortunately you can go back a few days later and we find cans and plastic have again been dropped.

“Just recently we received reports from residents on how bad the carpark boundary of Honiton Tesco’s store had become and could we have a look. After contacting Duncan Sheridan-Shaw, the community manager, with our offer he was enthusiastic and supportive to help in any way.

“With two volunteers from Honiton Lions club we had a blitz one Saturday morning. Put it this way, it was a total shock by us all on the quantity we cleared. Again it’s very sad that there are so many uncaring residents in our town.”

Honiton Litter Pickers have asked East Devon District Council to provide more litter bins in public spaces, and the council has given them a drop-off area for their bags of waste. They are recycling as much of the rubbish as possible, and giving any proceeds back to the community through local charities.

'Wildlife are dying due to our neglect'

The group are now hoping the posters they’ve produced, showing a photo of a hedgehog entangled in the plastic rings used to hold drink cans together, will make people think twice about dropping litter.

Rob said: “It’s not just for us but it’s also for our wildlife who can’t ask for help it’s down to us to help them. Sadly our wildlife are dying due to our neglect. We all have a responsibility to save them from this lack of care by the few."

Honiton Litter Pickers are very grateful to the local businesses that have supported them through sponsorship and gifts of equipment: Combe Estates,The Real Factory shop, A1 Print and Stitch, ARGO mobile repairs team, City Electrical Factors, Kate of Honiton Photo Box and Wilddogz who have donated a large number of bags to dispose of the litter.

Anyone who’s interested in joining the group can find out more by visiting their Facebook page, or contact Rob via Messenger.

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